Sunday, May 8, 2011

That's My Momma! : Mommy (1995)

Save the drama for this momma!  I didn't want to go the obvious route for Mother's Day (that being Mommy Dearest or Grace), so I tried to think outside the box.  Considering that I live outside the box already, this is no big surprise!  So what is Mommy about?  It's about someone's mother- only crazier than normal.  This alleges to be based on a true story, which I'm a bit too lazy to really check out.  The film is marketed as notable for starring the woman who played The Bad Seed as the mother.  That's all you've got?  Well, that and famous writer Mickey Spillane in a random cameo.  This movie is sure to be full of hugs, love and murder.  It's like having your own Mob Mother!  Hide your dirty magazines, because here comes...
Patty McCormick is a mother of a young daughter.  She takes the girl to school to have a meeting with a teacher.  The woman argues with 'Mommy' about the girl not being able to enter some sort of contest.  It's all pretty frivolous, so you'll have to excuse me for not remembering the exact detail here.  She makes the cardinal mistake of delivering bad news to someone whilst standing on a ladder.  You can guess what happens, right?  The lady calmly exits the building and explains to her daughter (really the best part of the movie) that her teacher is dead.  The police come asking questions, but don't seem to find what they're looking for.  I'm pretty sure that 'Mommy' wasn't wearing gloves when she shoved the ladder over, so how do you not know what happened?  This leads to us getting some more back-story on the daughter.  Most of it is pretty inconsequential, save for the fact that we learn that the girl's father is dead and 'Mommy' is with a new man.  You'll see why that matters later.
The middle portion of the movie is pretty dull.  Here's what you basically need to know...
* 'Mommy' acts conspicuous.  It's 'movie conspicuous,' so nobody figures this out.
* A Janitor lady at school tells the daughter that 'Mommy' is a killer, which upsets the girl.
* In a bit of unplanned irony, this leads 'Mommy' to kill the lady.  Shocks to be you, lady...
Since this is a TV movie, there's not a lot of 'suspense.'  Unless you're scared by Patty making vaguely-evil faces and opening jars, it's pretty tame.  Things take a darker turn when 'Mommy's' boyfriend/fiancee decides to tell the daughter 'a bedtime story.'  In it, he explains that he's her actual father, which shocks her quite a bit.  Even more shocking is the arrival of 'Mommy' and the fact that she just shoots the guy in cold-blood in front of her daughter.  The police look into the matter, leading 'Mommy' to hire a lawyer...who's played by Mickey Spillane.  That may not mean a lot to my younger readers, but it should surprise any older folks out there.  'Mommy' decides to take the daughter on 'vacation' to a Motel for a bit to escape the press/accusations- especially because of the Detective questioning the daughter.  Unfortunately, 'Mommy' is in one of those 'If I can't have you, nobody will' moods and tries to kill the daughter.  This leads to a chase in a junkyard, which ends in the Police arriving to arrest 'Mommy.'  The End...until the sequel.  Watch for it next year (provided that I can find a copy)...
Thanks a lot, 'Mommy!'  The plot of this movie is kind of odd.  Due to the nature of it, the Mother's sudden turn to murder seems odd.  We meet her and not five minutes later is she shoving that lady off of the ladder.  Not that I wanted the film to be a lot longer, but maybe they could have built up to this, oh, at all!  On the other hand, maybe that was the point.  The goal may have been to show the woman just snap suddenly and turn to murder.  If so, I can see a merit there.  Ultimately though, I didn't really feel the character.  She kills the lady for a silly reason and then kills another one because of the first murder.  Her reason and logic is just not all that palatable.  The acting is a bit 'amateur hour' here.  None of them are terrible, but most of them just feel like Soap Opera actors getting a slightly-higher profile gig.  As I said before, the girl playing the daughter is the best one here.  She reminded me a lot of the girl from Pinnochio's Revenge, just without the over-acting at the end.  Aside from the 'shock value' of the Mother killing people, this movie is pretty tame and forgettable.  I wasn't expecting a whole lot more...and I didn't get it.  I guess I'm not disappointed then.  Happy Mom Day, folks!
Next up, Australia attempts to make a science-fiction film.  The result- a giant mess of green screen shots and mid-riff.  Stay tuned...


  1. Fun review - the movie was written and directed by the man who took over writing the Dick Tracy newspaper strip from Chester Gould. He's since done many other things, including write the graphic novel Road to Perdition was based on. This was a small indie flick - it played some festivals and may have had a brief theatrical run before heading to home video - but it was not made for TV. Cheers!

  2. Leave it to Craig to answer my questions, even if it is 2 years later.

    As for it being a TV Movie, I must have read that somewhere. Obviously I'm wrong. I guess I can't always be both perfect and handsome. :-)

    Oh and it's hard to imagine the same guy wrote 'Road to Perdition.' I guess one or two works don't make a man/woman.